Senior Living Nursing Trends in Post-Covid Era

Nurses, perhaps more than any other group, have been directly impacted by the pandemic. If any health care professionals could use a break in 2021, it’s nurses!  In fact, the World Health Assembly designated 2021 as the International Year of Health and Care Workers (YHCW).

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the future is unpredictable. However, while we’re a bit hesitant, we’ve identified some nursing trends to look for this year and beyond. 

-Nurse Leaders Respond to New Environment

As a result of COVID, we probably can’t go back to yesterday but need to build a sustainable and better version of tomorrow which will take effective leadership.  In times of crisis and calamity, everyone looks to their leaders for direction. Therefore, what leadership skills will be paramount in a post-COVID era and prepare staff for a future crisis? Adaptability & Resilience, Team Support, Empathy & Compassion, Communication & Transparency, Critical Thinking, Tech Savviness and Creativity.

Additional States Allow Compact Licensures

The enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) was officially implemented in 2018. The compact, coordinated by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), makes it substantially easier for interim and travel nurses to work across state lines. Currently, the number of states that have enacted the eNLC is 34. However, more states have pending legislation including Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

-Interim Nurses on the Rise 

Few could have predicted the staggering strain on healthcare we saw in 2020. The need for Interim Nurse Leaders has been on the rise ever since.  An abrupt exit or illness of Clinical leadership can be detrimental to an organization especially when staff needs all hands-on-deck. Interim leadership calms the anxiety of workers as well provides a safeguard when it comes to maintaining organizational stability and success. Having an experienced Interim Nurse Leader, allows Senior Living organizations to manage through transitions effectively and buys time for leadership to take stock, think about the role, make necessary changes, and ultimacalltoy, recruit the right permanent Nurse Leader.

-Demand for More Senior Living Nurses Grows

While this trend is not new, it’s worth mentioning that 10,000 people are turning 65 every day in the US. Currently, we don’t have the number of nurses to handle this silver tsunami. The National Center for Workforce Analysis has said that there will be over 800,000 vacant nursing positions in 2021.  Some of these vacant positions are a result of burnout. To attract Nurses, it’s in an organization’s best interest to promote self-care, safety, personal and professional growth as well as create an environment of empathy, compassion, and wellness.  

-Bilingual Nurses in Greater Demand

The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse. Next to English, Spanish is the most widely spoken language in this country.  Therefore, nurses who are bilingual are becoming increasingly valued. When you have that face-to-face conversation in the same language, there’s a human connection that is priceless. You know we can relate to them linguistically, as well as culturally. 

-Technology Takes Center Stage 

The pandemic brought the latest emerging technologies to the front and center in Senior Living and accelerated their uses. Today, nurses use a wide range of technologically driven approaches to increase their efficiency and quality of patient care. In addition, nurses‘ use of mobile devices is also increasing. A Zebra Technologies study predicts that the percentage of nurses who use mobile devices will increase from 65 to 97 percent by 2024. The same study shows that mobile technology can improve cost savings, resident care, and patient safety.

-Greater Awareness of Issues Nurses Face

Nurses faced unprecedented challenges amidst the pandemic.  In the 2020 Nursing Trends by the American Nurse Journal, nurses reported a number of challenges including limited supplies, high stress levels, risk of personal illness, increased workload, and lack of preparedness for the sudden influx of patients. These are some of the reasons why Senior Living organizations are creating readiness programs, redefining the role of Infection Preventionists, and forging partnerships for responding to future pandemics. 



Julie Rupenski is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since then, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top-talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Her specialties include filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level positions.

Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry.  She previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living before founding MedBest. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.

Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.

(Julie’s industry articles and interviews have been published in Provider Magazine, Argentum Quarterly, LeadingAge Magazine, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Assisted Living Association, Florida Senior Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, LeadingAge Indiana, Pennsylvania Health Care Association, Oregon Health Care Association, and Virginia Assisted Living Association.)

Contact Julie Rupenski at / 727-526-1294.



MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001.  We recruit and acquire exceptional senior care talent, permanent and interim executives, for all types of Senior Living Organizations and Communities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Contact us at 727-526-1294 / 

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